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Volume controller for JBL LSR305
Old 5th January 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Volume controller for JBL LSR305

I have a pair of JBLs LSR305 monitors directly connected(with a Dual XLR to 3.5 cable) to my SounblasterX AE-5 soundcard.

I am looking for a volume controller that will permit me to control the volume of my speakers from the ease and commodity of my desk.

My ideal device would have an on/off switch and a remote control, but to be honest I didnโ€™t found any model with these two features during my little research.

More than a proposal, I would like to be informed about the pros and cons of any solution, so I will be able to evaluate my options :

1) a passive pre-amp like this one : Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
From what I understand this as simple as a potentiometer, as it does not add nothing at all to the sound result.

2) a DAC like this one : UR22mkII | Steinberg
Do I have something to gain in terms of sound quality or sound volume by spending more money to buy DAC ?
Is there any benefit of a 2 input / 2 output audio interface that use balanced cables (TRS and/or XLR) ?

3) a proper pre-amp like this one :
Yamaha WXC-50 Wireless Streaming Pre-Amplifier
The question is always the same : any gains in sound quality or sound volume that can justify the more money spending ?

4) Something else ?

Please consider that you are replying to sound noob.
Thank you.
Old 5th January 2018
  #2
Deleted e999d8e
Guest
There's more than one way to skin a cat.

I just use a JBL Nanopatch when I need passive attenuation. I don't have any experience with other passive devices.
Old 6th January 2018
  #3
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pingstream View Post
I have a pair of JBLs LSR305 monitors directly connected(with a Dual XLR to 3.5 cable) to my SounblasterX AE-5 soundcard.

I am looking for a volume controller that will permit me to control the volume of my speakers from the ease and commodity of my desk.

My ideal device would have an on/off switch and a remote control, but to be honest I didnโ€™t found any model with these two features during my little research.

More than a proposal, I would like to be informed about the pros and cons of any solution, so I will be able to evaluate my options :

1) a passive pre-amp like this one : Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
From what I understand this as simple as a potentiometer, as it does not add nothing at all to the sound result.

2) a DAC like this one : UR22mkII | Steinberg
Do I have something to gain in terms of sound quality or sound volume by spending more money to buy DAC ?
Is there any benefit of a 2 input / 2 output audio interface that use balanced cables (TRS and/or XLR) ?

3) a proper pre-amp like this one :
Yamaha WXC-50 Wireless Streaming Pre-Amplifier
The question is always the same : any gains in sound quality or sound volume that can justify the more money spending ?

4) Something else ?

Please consider that you are replying to sound noob.
Thank you.
Option 2. Get an interface like the ur22 without a doubt.
Old 6th January 2018 | Show parent
  #4
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esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
Option 2. Get an interface like the ur22 without a doubt.
+1.


The on board sound card will have modest quality and probably not enough output voltage to get the most possible from the LSR305.

The UR22 or similar interface will have better quality, lower noise floor, and plenty of voltage for playing the LSR305. Will still connect over USB and therefore will be as easy to play music across as the soundcard.
Old 6th January 2018 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted e999d8e View Post
I just use a JBL Nanopatch when I need passive attenuation.
JBL Nanopatch is one of my options if I will decide to get a passive pre-amp.
The links of the products I used in my first post are random.
If the forum help me decide between passive pre-amp, DAC, pre-amp, then I will need some more help to specify which model of audio interface I will buy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
Option 2. Get an interface like the ur22 without a doubt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
+1.
The on board sound card will have modest quality and probably not enough output voltage to get the most possible from the LSR305.
The UR22 or similar interface will have better quality, lower noise floor, and plenty of voltage for playing the LSR305. Will still connect over USB and therefore will be as easy to play music across as the soundcard.
Yes, but as I said I don't use the onboard soundcard.
I have an external soundcard :
Sound BlasterX AE-5 PCIe Gaming Sound Card and DAC - Creative Labs (United States)

It's not top class but it's definitely better than the onboard and it has a DAC that is praised in the reviews.
Do you still believe that there will be gains by using an external DAC ?

Don't forget my noobness when you respond
Old 6th January 2018
  #6
Sound blasters are for gaming Pingstream I agree with others, you should get an audio sound card interface built for audio production.
Believe me, you will love the difference between a sound-blaster and an audio interface/sound card

CJ
Old 6th January 2018
  #7
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TurboJets's Avatar
Use your mouse.

Problem solved.

You don't need a hardware solution.
Old 6th January 2018
  #8
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Some facts :

- The main use of the pc is gaming.

- The Soundblaster sound card is a recent purchase and I want to use it.
If I understood well from the previous posts, the use of a DAC(option 2) will bypass my soundcard making it useless. I spent 150$ one month before, I am generally satisfied from the card and I dont want to throw it away.

- When I connected my JBLs to my sound card I had a terrible buzzing when my pc was in full load. I resolved this ground loop issue(without affecting sound quality or loudness) by buying a ground loop isolator. I have to say that the noise is not eliminated although. Its like the 1% of the initial noise, but if i stick my ear to the speaker I can hear the buzz when my vga goes in load.

- I now control the volume of my speakers from the windows sound properties. I have permanently set the volume knobs of the JBLs at 6,5.

I would like to buy something that :

- permits me to adjust the volume with a volume knob on my desk, cause this will be very convenient, especially when I am in a game.

I guess that a cheap passive pre-amp will do the job for me.

What I want to know from you is if a more sophisticated and expensive solution (ex : DAC, pre-amp) will :

- offer me better sound quality
- eliminate this 1% almost non-existent buzz
Old 6th January 2018
  #9
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MarkF48's Avatar
Monitor controller on the cheap....
Behringer Monitor1 Passive Stereo Monitor and Volume Controller | Sweetwater

If you were good at DIY you could go even cheaper.
Old 6th January 2018
  #10
Quote:
I guess that a cheap passive pre-amp will do the job for me.
NO, do not do that please. Unless you want to add more noise to your signal chain and gain stage and blow something up
Quote:
What I want to know from you is if a more sophisticated and expensive solution (ex : DAC, pre-amp) will :

- offer me better sound quality
- eliminate this 1% almost non-existent buzz
Yes
Old 6th January 2018 | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by pingstream View Post
What I want to know from you is if a more sophisticated and expensive solution (ex : DAC, pre-amp) will :

- offer me better sound quality
For the trained ear and good monitoring environment: definitely yes.
For the untrained ear and normal lousy monitoring environment: absolutely not.

(quote bolded by me).
Old 6th January 2018
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Please take a look at these audio interfaces :

Amazon.com: FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories

Lexicon Alpha Studio โ€“ Thomann UK

Amazon.com: BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD: Musical Instruments

Are they capable to offer me the benefits you say ?
And if yes, do I have to bypass my soundcard ?
Do I need a soundcard while I use one of the above audio interfaces ?
How do they connect with the pc and my speakers ?

I know have my JBLs connected to my soundcard with a Dual XLR to 3.5 cable.
Old 7th January 2018
  #13
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TurboJets's Avatar
Question for the OP: Do you record instruments? Or is this just for gaming?
Old 7th January 2018
  #14
Gear Head
 

Unless I missed something, JBL makes this product for this exact purpose.

JBL Nano Patch+ | Compact 2 Channel Passive Volume Controller
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #15
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foamboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 View Post
Or this and use the USB connection when you want a little better DAC. Of course you will need some adaptors.

Behringer MONITOR2USB | Sweetwater

Good luck,

fb
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truelegend View Post
Unless I missed something, JBL makes this product for this exact purpose.

JBL Nano Patch+ | Compact 2 Channel Passive Volume Controller
I know.
There also other cheap solutions like the Behringer or the Sciit Sys that were posted before.
What I try to find is whether is worthwile spending a bit more and buing something better with more functions.
I am also preocupied if these simple volume controllers/passive pre-amps will add more noise to my signal chain as CJ Mastering stated before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Question for the OP: Do you record instruments? Or is this just for gaming?
80% gaming+20% music listening.
No recording, mixing or any studio work.
Old 7th January 2018
  #17
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esldude's Avatar
You'll have to decide about whether you want to spend money on this.

An interface like the UR22 or a Focusrite 2i4 will eliminate the noise from the computer itself. It is just this noise that is such a problem with soundcards, and yes your Soundblaster is a soundcard even if a better than average one. If it has enough output you can turn down volume with a passive, then yes it will reduce the noise you hear from the computer. But your total dynamic range will not be improved. Does it matter for mostly gaming and a little music? Maybe not much.

A big advantage of the UR22 or similar is activities of the computer are completely isolated from the UR22. None of it will get thru.

You have my sympathies and likely simply didn't know. Had you known, not buying the $149 Soundblaster and instead getting a $150 or so sound interface like the UR22 would have been a better choice. While a hard pill to swallow, could you resell the Soundblaster for $100 and get a Focusrite 2i4 ($200) or 2i2 ($150)? You might also find the 2i4 second hand on ebay to lower the price to you or the UR22.

Sorry, and hey if what you have is working okay, then don't worry about it. When gaming a 20% increase in sound quality might hardly be noticed.
Old 7th January 2018
  #18
Here for the gear
 

What I can't understand is if with a device such as UR22 or 2i4 I will need a soundcard or no.
I can physically remove the soundcard from my pc and uninstall all related drivers and software ?
And then how windows will process and deliver sound ?
Old 7th January 2018
  #19
Quote:
What I can't understand is if with a device such as UR22 or 2i4 I will need a soundcard or no.
Those are both sound cards
Quote:
I can physically remove the soundcard from my pc and uninstall all related drivers and software ?
And then how windows will process and deliver sound ?
That's not called for. You just disable the on-board sound chip. You would install the drivers for the UR22 or 2i4 or what ever sound card you would get.

CJ
Old 7th January 2018
  #20
Here for the gear
 

That cleared things a lot.

So all these audio devices are soundcards,
and as you say better soundcards than the one I have.
So its up to me to decide whether I want to use my current soundcard or no.

Do you know if the Lexicon Alpha is a sound card also ?
Lexicon Alpha Studio โ€“ Thomann UK
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #21
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MarkF48's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pingstream View Post
I know have my JBLs connected to my soundcard with a Dual XLR to 3.5 cable.
Do you have link for this cable? It's probably OK, but if the wiring in the XLR connector isn't proper for an 'unbalanced' connection the 3.5mm stereo end provides, it could cause some issues.

'And, you don't have to use Sys with our gear at all. It's a simple, high-quality, passive preamp that works with pretty much any line-level source.'
Had to chuckle at this description for the Schiit Audio thing.. A preamp can not be 'passive'. A preamp is a powered device using OpAmps or transistors which are 'active' devices. Passive for this device implies just simple switches and resistive components. Generally if well shielded and constructed shouldn't introduce noise by itself.
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 View Post
Do you have link for this cable?
REF 712 3 | Audio Cable | Pre-assembled Cables | Pro Audio | Adam Hall Shop
Old 7th January 2018 | Show parent
  #23
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MarkF48's Avatar
The diagram from the link shows the XLR correctly wired for unbalanced (pin 3 jumpered to 1, 2 hot). The cable is OK for the way it is being used.
Old 9th January 2018 | Show parent
  #24
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
+1.


The on board sound card will have modest quality and probably not enough output voltage to get the most possible from the LSR305.

The UR22 or similar interface will have better quality, lower noise floor, and plenty of voltage for playing the LSR305. Will still connect over USB and therefore will be as easy to play music across as the soundcard.

And also worth mentioning balanced line level outputs
Old 10th January 2018
  #25
Here for the gear
 

I think that you convinced to sell my Creative soundcard and buy an audio interface.
I hope I am doing the wright thing.
Can you please help me choose/suggest me a device that will be a good match for my JBLs ?

Based on my internet research and the suggestions on this thread the contenders are :

Lexicon Alpha Studio โ€“ Thomann UK

Amazon.com: BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD: Musical Instruments

Amazon.com: FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories

https://www.steinberg.net/en/product.../ur22mkii.html

Scarlett 2i2 | Focusrite

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MONITOR2USB
Old 11th January 2018
  #26
Gear Head
 

For your purposes I don't think you'd go wrong with the Mackie blackjack. You can currently find the discontinued models new for a good price.

Mackie Blackjack Onyx 2x2 USB Recording Interface | Full Compass
Old 11th January 2018
  #27
Gear Head
 

Then again you could get something like this since you're not going to be making any music. Also, when you're hooking an unbalanced signal up to your LSR monitors, you're supposed to go into the 1/4 inch inputs, not the XLR ones.

Amazon.com: Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter: Electronics
Old 11th January 2018 | Show parent
  #28
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pingstream View Post
I think that you convinced to sell my Creative soundcard and buy an audio interface.
I hope I am doing the wright thing.
Can you please help me choose/suggest me a device that will be a good match for my JBLs ?

Based on my internet research and the suggestions on this thread the contenders are :

Lexicon Alpha Studio โ€“ Thomann UK

Amazon.com: BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD: Musical Instruments

Amazon.com: FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories

UR22mkII | Steinberg

Scarlett 2i2 | Focusrite

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MONITOR2USB
Ur22 gets my vote. Simple, good sound and built like a tank
Old 11th January 2018
  #29
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esldude's Avatar
Of those you list, I would probably go with the Steinberg or Behringer. The only weak point of the UR22 seems to be a wimpy headphone out, but the output to your JBLs should be fine.
Old 11th January 2018
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Where I live I can find the
Steinberg UR22MK2 for 115 euros
and the
Behringer UMC202HD for 62 euros.

Given that I do not mix or produce music,
do you think that Steinberg worth the double prize ?
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